– VIMY RIDGE

Canadian soldiers on top of Vimy Ridge, May 1917

April 9th is Vimy Ridge Day in Canada. Every April 9th the nation observes what has been called ‘the forging of the nation.’ This year, in 2020, it takes place concurrently with Passover and the Easter weekend.

In the Canadian Church’s spiritual journey it represents resurrection life in more ways than one.To the extent we believe the Sovereign Lord had a hand in the outcome of WW1 and WW2, it’s good to recognize what He did with Canada as well as UK and USA.

At key times the Canadians involved were like the tip of a spear in the hands of the British to break the enemy’s resolve before the USA came on the scene. In WW2 one such time was the Battle for Britain. Then it was up to the British and other Commonwealth forces to defend that sceptred isle and set the the stage for the victory to follow. In WW1, it happened in a similar way on the ground at Vimy Ridge.

The challenge involved taking a strategic ridge on the French battlefields, which served as an impenetrable enemy stronghold. For the first time in history four different regiments of the Canadian expeditionary forces worked in unity along with British tunneling engineers to move forward underground. It had a way of uniting all of Canada back home as loved ones from coast to coast waited to hear the news.

The battle took place over the Easter weekend from April 9 to 12, 1917. It was a no-holds-barred approach that took months of preparation with much training, hard labour, precise planning, and major fire-power. Over 870 miles of telegraph and field telephone cable were laid underground to keep the lines of communication open. One squadron of the Royal Air Force patrolled from the sky to give additional feedback. Underground the British tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers created 7.5 miles of tunnels.

Leading up to the main battle other offensive action took place for a week, as part of the preparation. All Canadian guns were used to wear down the enemy’s resolve for what came next. Years later the information would come out that the enemy referred to this as the week of suffering when their trenches were destroyed, rations were running out and their morale took a major hit.

The battle of Vimy itself involved four levels of offensive action. They used big guns called howitzers to push the enemy back on the front lines. This was followed by a creeping barrage in which the Canadians targeted certain points with sustained and heavy attack, while infantrymen leap-frogged over each other to push forward as they opened fire. And overhead few six squadrons of the Royal Air Force with one dedicated specifically to covering the advancing Canadians.

On top of all that the Creator decided to add a Canadian touch in the form of snow. A storm came from a north-west direction blowing sleet and snow in the enemy’s faces. No doubt many of the Canadians took this as a reminder of home and all they were there to defend.

The attack was intended to begin on Easter Sunday, April 8th. Because the French wanted to observe Easter it was officially put off until April 9, Easter Monday but actually began at night on the 8th. By April 10th the Germans began to retreat after they had exhausted all sources of reinforcements and realized they were surrounded. By the evening of April 12 the Canadians had full control of Vimy Ridge. The British then kept control of the area to the end of the war.

The history books will show that this was not considered a great loss by Germany as there was no further offensive to keep pushing them back at that time, as a result of it. The significance for Canada is the way in which it united all Canadians – both on the battlefield and back home. It showed US what we were capable of as a nation working together. And the victory at Vimy didn’t stop there.

In the last one hundred days of the Great War, at one point a quarter of all Germany’s armed forces were running from Canadians. At the Battle of Amiens Canadians pushed Germany back over 8 miles. It’s been said that when Germany attacked France in 1940 they were effective because they copied strategies used by Canada in 1917-1918.

So what does all this have to do with the Kingdom of God manifesting in Canada today? Jesus laid the ground rules when He said “Nation will rise against nation,and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7-8). Birth pains for what? Kingdom sons for whom all of creation awaits (Romans 819-21).

In these end times, as the nations are thrown into great turmoil, the pivotal issue is whether or not they will line up with God’s sovereign plans for Israel and the Jewish people. As Isaiah 66:7-8 says “BEFORE she goes into labour, she gives birth; BEFORE the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. … Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her children.”

This scripture is clearly about the prophesied reconstitution of Israel (Isaiah 60). But it’s speaking of more than one nation being born into the Kingdom of God. As He said to Jacob at Bethel: “A nation and a community of nations will come from you” Genesis 35:11). If we read to the end of the Bible we see some nations are still here in the fullness of His Kingdom (Revelation 21:24). Canada is one of those nations built on Judeo-Christian precepts which may be grievously challenged but remain undefeated in the hands of an overcoming Church.

From that point of view we can look back at Vimy Ridge and much of Canada’s history, to see some powerful truths that apply on a spiritual level today. For example, the things of France are like a battlefield which, like it or not, are best overcome when Canada stays on the same page as Britain for the benefit of all three.

This is true of our First Nations in the sense that their treaty rights were forged with the British Crown, then reinforced in 1982 by Canada’s official head of state – Queen Elizabeth II – in the face of the current PM’s father. He sought to erase them entirely to promote a globalist agenda in Canada, while at the same time steering Canada in the direction of the now doomed EU with Germany at the helm.

He did this by changing our system of measurement from Imperial, shared with UK and USA, to metric so as to line up with EU and other markets. He brought in the concept of multiculturalism funded by the hard work and financial investments of homegrown Canadians, to undermine the Judeo-Christian foundations. He took measures to destroy the family unit of two parents and children by legalizing divorce, abortion and homosexuality to name a few.

The big picture shows that what is really at stake, is God’s sovereign plans for Israel and the Jewish people. The end result of the globalist agenda is to oppose all that by promoting lawlessness and anarchy to destroy our nation. Then it helps to look back at the symbolism of Vimy Ridge for possible solutions.

Of great significance is the choice to begin the battle on the evening of the 8th instead of the morning of the 9th. It’s essentially the difference between lining up with all things Jewish (and Biblical), in which the calendar days begin at sundown the night before, versus bowing to the things of Rome (from which our modern calendars arose).

It’s important to remember that the Bible teaches us to bless those we consider to be opponents, to overcome evil with good. This is not about putting down anything related to France or Rome. Nonetheless the final victory for the Kingdom of God in Canada arises with standing in the gap for Israel and the Jewish people according to God’s sovereign plans for the free Judeo-Christian world.

Now in this unique year of 2020 we find our Canadian identity that’s been forged at Vimy Ridge, neatly tucked in between Passover and Easter weekend; covered by the blood of the Lamb in more ways than one. It’s a time when religion gives way to the relationship by seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness,and by remembering the ultimate price paid by the Lord for our freedom at the cross; even as we remember those who now lay beneath the crosses, row on row.